GEORGE Skivington has spoken of his ‘excitement’ as London Irish continue their pre-season preparations ahead of their Aviva Premiership return.

The forwards' coach said his side have their eyes firmly on being in as good a shape as possible when they kick off their campaign against Harlequins in the second of the two London Double header games at Twickenham on Saturday, September 2.

Skivington admitted: “Most of the lads in the squad have Premiership experience and they know what it takes to play at that level week in, week out.

“We’re fully aware that there’s no easy game and the league is getting more competitive every year. We’ve had a year out of the Premiership and we’re excited to get stuck in again.”

He continued: “The boys have all come back really hungry and they’re all extremely keen to get themselves in the best shape possible ahead of the new campaign.

“The lads worked extremely hard last year with the end goal being to get back into the Premiership. We’ve all taken stock over the summer and the boys are now really getting stuck in.”

Meanwhile, new recruit Gordon Reid is determined to be a permanent fixture in London Irish’s front row having made the switch from Glasgow Warriors this summer.

The 30-year-old, who was part of Scotland’s summer tour to Singapore, Australia and Samoa, has returned to training following an extended break due to his international commitments.

Having won the Pro12 with Glasgow in 2015, during a spell where he played 109 times for the club, Reid is excited by his new challenge.

He commented: “It’s really good to finally meet the boys.

“There’s a really good atmosphere at the club and I could feel it from the moment I arrived here. I’ve always wanted to try a new challenge and to play in the Premiership is amazing, an opportunity that I want to grab with both hands.

“I’m always looking to improve and I feel that I can do that at London Irish, so I’m looking forward to running out onto the field and wearing the club badge with pride."